Small Farmer Training Program
Wallace State’s Farm and Ranch Management Program prepares students to start and operate their own farms or serve as a farm manager of existing farms. The program will also provide better understanding of farm operations for working in farm- or agriculture-related fields, including non-profits.
Small Farmer Training Program
Wallace State's Small Farmer Training Program will prepare students to start and operate their own farms or serve as a farm manager of existing farms. Also for those interested in working in agriculture, it will offer a better understanding of farm operations to work in non-profits or farmer assistance and promotion organizations.
Topics included in curriculum:
- Soil and Fertility Management (soil prep and management to promote long term soil health)
- Vegetable and Fruit Production (Beginning with cole crops then progressing to spring and summer fruits and vegetables and closing out the season with cover crops)
- Herb Production (Herbs primarily for culinary purposes)
- Crop Planning and Scheduling (when to plant certain and how to get multiple crops with successive planting)
- Harvest and Post-Harvest Handling and Food Safety (Food safety standards specifically that apply to farms, Food Safety Modernization Act)
- Transplant Production (How to produce plants to be used on farm)
- High Tunnel Production (Utilizing solar heat to extend the growing season)
- Direct and Wholesale Marketing (How to market fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, restaurant and wholesale distributors)
- Developing a Business Plan (Create a layout of how the farm will operate, startup cost, products to be produced, where sales will occur)
- Enterprise Budgeting (A look into individual crops, cost to produce, potential profit, risk vs profit analysis)
- Equipment Usage and Maintenance (How to properly maintain and use common equipment used on the farm)
- Pest Management (Insect, Weed, Fungus)
- Chemical Handling and Application (Equipment Calibration, chemical mixing and proper application)
- Irrigation (Drip irrigation systems, Fertilizer injection and overhead watering with water reel)
- Crop Rotations (Proper crop rotation to lower disease and pest pressure and to improve soil quality through crop selections)
- Farm Specific Financials (Farm specific loan programs and financing options for farms)
Topics will be covered in multiple ways:
- Farm visits
- Industry Expert Presentations
- One on One Instruction
- Attending Area Agriculture Informational Meetings
Who should attend?
- High School graduates looking to begin farming
- Those seeking a second career
- Gardeners looking for more in-depth program
- Those looking to create a hobby farm
- Those who want a different career path and work for themselves
- Anyone interested in a better understanding of fruit and vegetable production
Program will run spring to fall to allow program participants to take part in a complete growing season from soil preparation to winter crops on the Wallace State Farm.
Class will be offered both as a traditional classroom lecture and lab time during the day and in a hybrid format, with lectures placed online and labs available on campus in the evening in order to fit most anyone's schedule.
After completing the course, assessments are can be taken to receive college credit hours that can be applied toward an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Agriculture/Horticulture.